Sammy Nickalls
November 23, 2015 9:11 am

Today is not just any Monday, guys. Today, we are celebrating Miley Cyrus’ 23rd birthday. She might have first risen to fame as a pre-teenybopper in Hannah Montana, but she has proven her maturity beyond that role with her musical talent as well as her dedication to important causes. . . and sometimes, combining those two into something beautiful.

Miley started her non-profit, The Happy Hippie Foundation (best name ever, TBH), earlier this year. The organization’s mission is “to rally young people to fight injustice facing homeless youth, LGBT youth and other vulnerable populations,” according to its official site. And Miley has used her vocal skills in the charity’s efforts, resulting in the most intimate, stripped-down music performances called “Backyard Sessions” — performances in, as you’d probably guess, Miley’s very own backyard.

However, Miley started performing backyard sessions of retro hits years before The Happy Hippie Foundation was formed, and every single one from 2012 to 2015 is golden. In honor of Miley’s 23rd birthday, here are some of her fabulous retro backyard sessions that give us chills every single time.

Lilac Wine

This hauntingly beautiful cover of the hit that was written by James Shelton in 1950 and covered by various artists, including John Legend and Jeff Buckley. But Miley totally knocks it out of the park with her gorgeous acoustic performance that shows off her amazing vocal range.

Don’t Dream It’s Over

Ariana Grande and Miley in onesies, performing an ’80s hit on an inflatable couch. Is there anything more we could possibly want out of life?

Look What They’ve Done To My Song

There’s something so beautiful about Miley singing a cover of a song that’s about others ruining a song. Probably because Miley sings it so perfectly and purely, stripped-down in the backyard, that we’re pretty sure Melanie Safka wouldn’t be heartbroken about what Miley’s done to her song.

Happy Together

This ’60s hit by The Turtles has been covered time and time again, but IMHO, Miley’s rendition has got to be the best. Dark, soulful, beautiful.

Jolene

Miley did Dolly Parton SO much justice here. This stunning cover proves Miley’s awesome versatility with her darkly gorgeous vocals. (Quick reminder that she did this at 19. LIKE WHAT.)

50 Ways To Leave Your Lover

In case you missed Miley covering Paul Simon’s classic hit at SNL 40 earlier this year, you can catch it in one of her backyard sessions from earlier this year. She hits every sultry low note and every bright high note without a single hitch.

Happy birthday, Miley! Your talent is truly never-ending, and we hope to see many, many more backyard sessions in the years to come. <3

(Images via YouTube.)

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